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Old 07-05-2019, 12:24   #1
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Who has run into a floating container

Steel shipping containers usually 40 feet sometimes come loose and fall overboard at sea. Who do you know or heard of that has ever hit run into one with their boat? Seems to me the perceived risk is ever blown or maybe it is not.
I know numerous boats that have hit whales including my own last year, but how about who has hit a shipping container and what kind of damage did incure?
Just wondering.
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Old 07-05-2019, 12:42   #2
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Re: Who has run into a floating container

This seems like something that would make a good movie.
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Old 07-05-2019, 12:52   #3
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Re: Who has run into a floating container

Robert Redford
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Old 07-05-2019, 12:53   #4
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Re: Who has run into a floating container

I was told that many hit them, especially off the coast of Fl.
However apparently you donít survive a container strike, canít even get a mayday out
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Old 07-05-2019, 13:27   #5
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Re: Who has run into a floating container

I ran into a french guy in a barrel😀
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Old 07-05-2019, 15:42   #6
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Re: Who has run into a floating container

Think about this for just a second...

If the ocean was as full of shipping containers as some people try to tell you, why have you NEVER seen one wash up on the beach?

I have sailed the Atlantic, and the Pacific, and been along thousands of miles of coast line and I have never seen one. I have never heard a credible report of anyone actually hitting one. There are lots of stories, but when you dive into them you find out that they hit SOMETHING and assumed it must have been one of those evil containers they had heard so much about.

I know firsthand of many boats who have hit whales. One that sunk. I have hit a whale (and not sunk!) Not one that hit a verified container.

It's always some version of "I have been told that many hit them." Nonsense. Doesn't happen. People who actually are out sailing in the real ocean know that containers are not something to worry about, or at least are way, way, way down the list.
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Old 07-05-2019, 17:47   #7
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Re: Who has run into a floating container

Pictures where taken on a trip from the AVI to the Chesapeake Bay a number of years ago and where submitted to Ocean Navigator for this article..

A legendary offshore danger - Ocean Navigator - March/April 2013
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Old 07-05-2019, 17:52   #8
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Re: Who has run into a floating container

Hola,

Although I have not heard of a credible report of a container strike by a vessel, I can assure you they can be found adrift now and again. When I was in The USCG in the early 90ís, on two separate occasions we had an opportunity to deal with reports of shipping containers adrift in the Bering Sea. We were able to locate them from the reports given by commercial vessels in the area and we then used them for target practice with several deck mounted 50 caliber weapons. We were able to fill them full of holes until they sank, thus eliminating the navigational hazard. I was in the Coast Guard from 1989-1993 so I am not sure if this practice is still in use today but I can vouch for itís existence back then as I will never forget the opportunity to discharge hundreds of 50 cal rounds at taxpayers expense.

Safe Journeys!
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Old 07-05-2019, 18:23   #9
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Re: Who has run into a floating container

Met a guy last year at Green Cove Springs in a 46-48' Hunter that claimed he hit a container off the Exumas. I looked at the boat and the damage didn't look like something that had come from hitting a reef, which I considered as a possibility, being a skeptical kind of guy.

There was big gouge on the hull next to the leading edge of the keel and more down the side that looked like it was from something sharp and the keel was knocked back a little opening a small gap between the keel and stub.

He said he took on a little water around the keel bolts but nothing serious and made it back to FL in one piece (obviously).
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Old 08-05-2019, 03:02   #10
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Re: Who has run into a floating container

A few CF members have hit shipping containers:
Have you ever hit a shipping container ?

A few earlier discussions:

Shipping Containers on Radar

Shipping containers (navigation hazard)

how to detect CONTAINER lost at sea and NOT hit it?
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Old 08-05-2019, 03:32   #11
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Re: Who has run into a floating container

Similar to an earlier post, an old coast guard friend told me that during his time with the CG (2004 - 2009) they were advised of floating shipping containers on numerous occasions. He was primarily stationed in North and South Carolina. He also said the deck mounted gun was used to sink the containers and the crew enjoyed the opportunity for target practice. Scary part was that the containers were usually "awash" and very difficult to see even during daylight hours.

A delivery captain I've sailed with who has several dozen Atlantic crossings told me he has only seen one floating container in all his years at sea, off the coast of France.

They are definitely out there, but hopefully very few and very far between.
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Old 08-05-2019, 03:52   #12
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Re: Who has run into a floating container

Not a shipping container but whilst anchored over a wreck and diving off the Northern Ireland coast a large white fridge went past in the tide, a little too close for comfort. Easily seen in the evening twilight but an hour later in the breaking waves as we headed home it would have been a different matter.

The fridge being lined with foam insulation floated very well.

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Old 08-05-2019, 05:48   #13
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Re: Who has run into a floating container

I know of a guy who bought a rather large ship and paid it off in a year, recovering shipping containers along the fright routes.
So they are out there and they still have valuable stuff in them.

If you can find them and recover them, you could surely run into them.
Statistics can be found to state that 10,000 containers are lost every year. That is most likely an understatement considering not all companies report their losses.
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Old 08-05-2019, 07:08   #14
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Re: Who has run into a floating container

And they donít just lose them by accident, all the time. A good friend of mine who is a retired merchant Marine, told me that on more than one occasion in his career, they cut them loose on purpose in storms for the safety of the ship.
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Old 08-05-2019, 09:24   #15
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Re: Who has run into a floating container

On my run from Ft Pierce Fl to Freeport Grand Bahama in the summer of 2004 I hit a slightly submerged container going at full cruise (20 mph). I was right offshore about 5 miles out from the commercial Freeport harbor. Sun due to set in about 3 hours.
Popped the drivesaver and pushed the prop and shaft back against the rudder. Locked steering into a moderate Starboard turn. Tried to free it by diving but could not.
Put the 9 ft inflatable with 2 stroke 5HP overboard. Would go forward with inflatable and engine in forward for a bit the shift the boat to neutral to have the dingy pull the bow around. The repeat and repeat over and over.
There is more to story involving a 300 ft fuel ship in the night but that is another story in itself. I’ll leave that for the movie version. Spent the week on the hard at Bradford marine.
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